Friday, May 29, 2009

FFF- Memories

Some Favorite Foto Friday themes are more challenging than others! This week's, on first hearing, seemed a piece of cake but as I surfed through the picture albums I realized there are too many memories!! So posted in NO PARTICULAR order are a few I have to share with bloglandia. The universal language of balloons! El globo de Barney was all it took to break the ice at the airport on the day that Mari arrived in the United States for the first time. "The gaggle of toddlers which Mommy kept calling "los primos" must be all right since they tied that Barney balloon on my wrist as soon as we met!"
The visceral gut wrench of seeing the children of Guatemala in the streets carrying loads almost as big as themselves. Working when they should have been in school or minding their siblings so their parents could go to work. Then the realization that the little girl dressed to the nines that you carry in your arms would have been one of those children herself had decisions been different!!!
Sitting on the bed in a hotel in Guatemala City watching the most perfect child every born as she slept...and knowing that she would soon be sleeping in her little crib in the nursery long empty.
An idyllic vacation shared with extended family......
sleepovers and matching p.j.'s when they were young enough to think 'matching' was cool!
Watching your two year old try to feed her apple core to a horse in the field next to an Irish castle.......
and watching the older ones climb up the ruins at the base of Blarney Castle on their way to find the infamous 'stone' and then having a complete emotional breakdown watching the same three hop from stone to stone up on the top ledge of the castle where the stone is located!!! I could still have a heart attack remembering the fear I had that they would fall to their deaths!
Far too few out of the thousands and thousands I have but all I have time to post this FFF!!
Off topic: There was just enough sun this morning to get pics of some of the denim pieces I had completed for the 4th of July. This little "Whale of a Time" outfit and the rest can be seen on eBay under my seller name of "drsilk1".

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Soooo old!

I have never hidden the fact that I am OLD! I know I am OLD. After today I'm thinking I will have to use another adjective to describe just how old I am! It started this morning when the "hip" OLD lady that I am jumped onto her Facebook account. There were several of my 'friends' commenting on the results of their latest quiz..."Which 80's Show Character Are You?"....and I didn't know any of the characters!!! Hmmmm, let's see...the 80's...hmmm why don't I know these shows or characters? Well I was in college for the first two years of the 80's and four years of dental school followed college and cracking the books was a priority but I wasn't a complete hermit!!!!! Then my niece came over after school to help me in the salt mine for some pocket change. Since she is usually subjected to my cable news addiction I let her have control of the remote today. Alyssa has a GREAT work ethic which I hope may someday become contagious to my two ladies!(and yes we still need sweatshirts!! we are losing hope that summer will ever come!) The steady hum of the serger accompanied the very witty dialogue of a show of which I had never seen. After quite a few chuckles I just had to ask her what we were watching and you'd think I had asked her the most ludicrous question ever with her response!!! "C'mon, Aunt Suz you're kidding me right?" I was not kidding. "Aunt Suz, this is the Gilmore Girls! I've been watching it since 5th grade and you've really never seen it before?" So there it is! I am officially a senior citizen. Geriatric, for sure! Maybe even ancient?

Lame excuse...

Sorry friends! Lame excuse I know but the blog has gone to the bottom of my priority list lately due to a very busy schedule. The sun is again on vacation somewhere else in the world so I'm pushing to get a few more outfits done so they can be photographed the next time it comes to visit. Besides the usual chores I'm squeezing in five doctors/dentist appointments and three soccer games into three days...ahhhh gotta love the end of the school year! As a change of pace I will be working on three Irish dancing dresses in the next couple of weeks. I'll be sure to keep you updated with pics...hopefully the dancers will check in here to see the progress rather than calling to come in person!!!! Also, could I ask any one with a little extra good karma to share it with Julia right now? We've sent off the packet to the searcher who's looking for her birth family. It's always a risky move because one does not know if our actions might place the birth mother in harms way or, if found, will the new relationship be a positive relationship? We are using the positive outcome of Mari's birth family search to guide our actions. Really, Julia just wants to see a picture of her birth mother so the bar isn't set too high so here's hoping that S can find them after 8.5 years!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Too much of a good thing?

It is simply impossible to resist the lure of our current weather! It has been a couple of days with minimal precipitation and temperatures above 65 so we are hoping that summer is thinking of coming for it's annual visit. The big problem with this weather is the timing! You see with the holiday weekend upon us there are an endless supply of invitations to choose from and the good weather means we are 'choosing' to do too many!!! Mark my word ...there will be a post coming soon chronicling the inevitable crash and burn. Meanwhile, today's agenda went from leisurely to full speed in the blink of an eye. I finished up four little items to get up on eBay. Size 3T Cars summer set.
Size 3T patriotic themed cutified coveralls.
2T/3T Tinkerbelle pillowcase dress.
A 2T patriotic themed cutified denim jumper.
Last weeks items didn't move as I had hoped and I'm very frustrated with myself that I cannot get an Etsy storefront up and going since I paid about as much in fees to eBay as I made on the sales! I just resent sitting in front of the computer trying to make heads or tails of 'html' and file sizes when I could/should be in front of the sewing machine!! I know I'd never have the traffic that eBay gives but what good is it to pay for a bunch of 'watchers' but no bidders? The economy isn't helping either! At the very least I need to get off my hiney and follow up on leads you guys gave me on having my sewing blog set up so I can get rid of 'fees' altogether!! I also take custom orders! Drop an email to Muingapat at sbcglobal dot net and I can discuss styles and prices!
After snapping the above photos, Julia and I got all out patriotic outdoor decor out and in place. Then we all went over to Grandma's yard to see if the rumor of it now being above water was indeed true.
Now high and dry we spent HOURS clearing weeds and turning over the first strip of land for tomatoes. As the heat of the day built, the next door neighbors came out of hibernation and played in their waaaay over the top built-in pool while we dripped sweat. That's their pool house in the background. Had a great discussion with the girls, while we weeded, about the disparity in income and therefore lifestyles. Mari was having a LOT or trouble staying on task until we discussed in depth the realities of her birth family's life working the sugar cane fields of Guatemala. I could just see the chrysalis moment when it dawned on her that had her family not made the choice to place her for adoption that she would now be out in a blazing hot cane field with precious little in her belly to boot.
So with a chive blossom behind her ear, she stepped up her pace and worked until we realized what else was going on today.......
the park district opened the public pools!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just the cure for hot, sweaty little girls! I know some of you are probably close to picking your tomatoes already but we just had a frost last week so ours will go in sometime this week...we hope!
The littlest one was the first one to go off the high dive this year! The drop slide is super fun as well and we are looking forward to many more days this summer giving them a good work out!
Mari is going to try and get over the need to plug her nose this year! I'm going to try and get over the fact that my baby is looking so mature in her bikini!!!!
So we finished off with a late dinner and movie but as they went off to bed they were already asking about tomorrow's agenda! I've had to pull out and polish off my best "we'll see" response!!! Maybe a hint of rain wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Picking up speed!

As the end of the school year races towards us we find ourselves running from event to event! I hardly dare put this in print actually made it to eighty degrees today!! Yesterday was toasty too!!!! I find it so much easier to make this mad dash when I'm not lugging the extra items required during the stormy, cold weather we've had up until now. The soccer league is in a frenzy trying to get all the rained out games made up by the June 13 end of the spring season but it is so much bearable to sit through double headers when the sun is shining on your cheeks. This hyperactivity has had a positive effect on my sewing output and I was able to list a couple of items on eBay with several more going on in the coming days. My niece Alyssa spent an hour today doing some serging for me and I hope to get a few 'cutified' denim items done tomorrow on a precious day off....not even a soccer game to make up!! The weather is scheduled to take a nose dive tonight so I won't even be missing any vitamin D moments in the sunshine either. Can't promise when I'll climb back out of the mine but I'll be sure to post some pictures when I do!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Celebrate Good News...C'MON!!!

Warning: to fully understand this post I recommend you take a moment to scroll down and read the post from earlier this afternoon........ Now welcome back! The party was not actually at my house after all. The emotions ran so high that it became clear that a celebration had to include Julia's all time favorite meal. Our resident medical expert, Nurse/Auntie Peggy who is also the godmother of the 'patient' drove down to collect us for a trip in her convertible to Outback! (As an aside it began to rain AGAIN just as we piled in so the top was firmly in place...bummer!) Okay I'm guilty as charged! When I should have been pumping out a little Disney outfit to sell for food basket funds I decided to make a scrub top for the running of the Belmont Stakes which I knew she'd want to wear the instant she saw it...and she did! The shoemaker's child deserves an occasional item.....don't you think?
Toasting to the good news with her favorite racing buddy!
Guess I should also mention that mac-n-cheese rates closely with horses as an obsession and Outback's is her all time favorite!
When the karma is flowing it's really flowing!! Amazing how focused the concentration and how steady the hand when life is good!!!
Even the picture above our booth was serendipitous!(Photo courtesy of Mari and her butter smeared fingers which tried to wipe a crumb off the lens!)
Speaking of karma, remember this picture?
Guatemala City, Super Bowl Sunday 2001 and the face plant of a excessively fatigued three year old Mari......
and life repeats itself, sort of. Mari has been burning the candle from both ends in the past couple of days and in an effort to get her homework done before the cock crows she brought it along to the restaurant. She never quite fell asleep tonight but it was a rather long 'moment of concentration' :)

Neigh Away!!!

Long time readers of my blog may have seen it mentioned once or twice about how insanely crazy Julia is for horses. Please do not think I'm exaggerating!! Consumed is another word one might be inclined to use when discussing Julia and horses. Then there is this other little aspect of her life that 'consumes' Mom.....Julia is an allergy induced asthmatic. In the past we did some limited allergy testing due to insurance constraints so we knew about the dog and dust mite allergies but we have long held our breath as to the date and time when we would be forced to test for an allergy to horses!!! Keeping that little factoid in mind...Julia is finally EIGHT years old. A critical age in Illinois for a horse lover who does not own or lease a horse. You see the liability laws in our state do NOT allow children under eight to ride a rental horse!! In celebration of her attaining her eighth birthday we signed her up for HORSE CAMP, WOOHOOO!!! Then this spring Julia's asthma has gone haywire....... At fourteen months she had a FIT until I let her sit on this pony!!
Sublime happiness in her horse attire.
Several Halloween costumes have had a horse theme.
Nothing made this two year old Julia happier than pony rides!
Her bedroom is horsey even down to the green 'pasture' on her floor where a girl can pretend to be the stallion of a past life.
My jockey wannabe watches all the horse racing televised and when none is listed she settles for the PBR.
Everywhere we go she senses the presence of horses...equine radar we call her ability!
While we mostly have ridden in Florida, Julia is sure we should move to Tennessee or Texas because somehow she thinks it's a little girl's birth right to own a horse in those states!
"If I close my eyes and wish hard enough maybe I'll find one like this in my garage?!?!"
Well the day came last week when the blood had to be drawn for the comprehensive allergy testing so we can try to wrestle this season's asthma to the ground. All I can say is...........
Party's at our house tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There is a God in heaven looking over this child!!!! The test for horses came back NEGATIVE!
Now for the hard part, we live in suburbia where trees are relished and lawns are a source of pride, where children all play sports, and there's a pet in every home so I wonder where we will need to move to get away from her off the chart allergies to oak, elm, birch, box elder, GRASS, cats, and dogs??????????????????? I'm sure when she comes in from school and hears this news Julia will say, "Who cares!! I'm free to ride horses!!!!!"
Funny aside: She's also NOT allergic to hampsters or cock roaches either. No way, no how either of those will become pet options :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009


My brain is not co-operating tonight!!!! The crazy work schedule coupled with Julia's doctoring and miserable weather has put it in hyper-drive. Patrick tries his best to talk me down but since we've not yet found my 'off switch' here I sit surfing the web. I should be sewing but the machines are right under Julia's bedroom so in an effort to be quiet I'm on-line instead. This has been a life long condition so you'd think I'd have some coping mechanisms in place?!? The worst of this is that I'll probably drop with just an hour or two left before we have to get up and running on another manic day! The girls are running in a charity 1K race tomorrow morning. Then we have a birthday luncheon in a town about an hour away. A timely exit must be made from the party in order to be back home for a Girl Scout awards ceremony. I've already declined the post-ceremony dinner in anticipation of our emotional exhaustion! ...and the weather still s**ks!!!!! A FROST warning is in effect for tonight!! I mean really, is spring ever going to come??????? Just posting two pictures of Julia and Deirdre from earlier today. The running of the Preakness today got Julia's equine juices running and the two were compelled to play cowgirl! Better watch your step around this cowgirl as she's packing heat! This child watches too many movies, for sure!!!
Night and day! Cowgirl Deirdre must sport jewelry (thanks Miss Vanessa for the cool Mardi Gras beads!!!) while my desperado sports the black hat and ever ready pistol!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A UFO sighting!!!!

Apologies to any south Texas readers who may find this whine fest an affront. Unlike you who have had no measurable rainfall this spring, we have had clouds and rain for 21 of the past 24 days. The creeks and rivers are edging up over their banks and the spring soccer season has been a wash....LITERALLY! The temperatures have broken into the 70's only twice this spring and except for the Irishman, who's feeling right at home, we are all starting to go crazy with 40's and 50's day in and day out. I surf your blogs and envy the little girls in sundresses and boys playing Little League and drive myself even crazier. I'm thinking that an engineer who can design a 'green' system to even off the weather extremes would be one wealthy person! The family garden has progressed no's under water! There have been some serious discussions of having the main crop be RICE! The winter generated muffin tops are as big as ever since the bicycles and soccer balls are spending their spring in the garage. The planned paint job for the garage is on an indefinite hold and my spring annuals are starting to show signs of being root bound in their cell packs. Sigh.................. Work has been frantically busy since all the schools are trying to get us in before summer breaks begin so I've been long absent from the salt mine. The monthly food basket for Mari's birth family will soon be delivered so I need to get serious about getting my Etsy store up and running. The bit of money I make sewing goes to the tiendita that supplies Josefa and Manuel with the food baskets and the account is getting low!! So last night I burned the midnight oil and got two items done. As I went outside to get the best light possible for photographing the items I saw a UFO! Since my neighbors would be sure to doubt me I made sure to get a good photograph of the bright orb in the sky............ I'm hoping the authorities can help us in the mid-west identify this strange burning light that briefly appeared in our morning skies!!
My last Autism outfits brought a lot of enquiries for additional styles and sizes so I did this up for a custom order. The brother had been the 'winner' of one of the ones I had listed on eBay and little sister wanted her own Mickey dress done in the puzzle material. I have the supplies to make an additional one in size 6/6x if anyone is interested. It's $20 which includes the shipping within the US.
I'm starting a big push to use some of the denim I received from Rhonda and Vanessa to do patriotic outfits. This one's tag says XS but it's too small to be a Junior/Ladies XS and too big to be a Girl's XS so Julia is going to try it on and I'm going to 'guestimate' the actual size from the measurements and comparison to Julia's size. I hope to have it on eBay by tomorrow but if anyone wants to save the feeBay costs let me know! I'm thinking it looks like a girl's 8-10 but I'll know later tonight....after the Preakness...because Julia is too consumed by all the horse racing coverage on TV today to stop to try on the overalls. (Update: after our girl won the Preakness, Julia tried these on and they are a girl's 7/8!!)
All my denim will feature a few appliques along with ruffles and trim to 'cutify' the piece.
Lame, huh?!?! You'd think I would have noticed I forgot to turn the photo before loading it onto the blog!!! Anyhow, this is a back shot to show how I 'cutified' the pockets. Now back into the mine to see how much more I can get done before the UFO is scheduled to return.

Friday, May 15, 2009

FFF- Bloopers

Wow! A theme right up my alley! You see, as the world's biggest tech. wreck, I have a bunch of photos that should have been deleted already but I'm only just getting to that part of the tutorial :)!! I'm usually too busy laughing at the funny bloopers to remember to catch them on film so the few I've posted here fall into the "Bloopers made by Mom not knowing how to work a camera" category. Veeeery upsetting here as this was taken during a very short visit we were able to have with Mari's 'brother'. Benjamin and Mari were both raised by the same foster mother for the first two years of their lives so while they are not biological siblings the bond is special. He was adopted by a family who lived about 2hrs away up until last year....when we lost contact after Merrill Lynch terminated the adoptive parents' jobs. He and his family are in our prayers!!
Okay, so one funny one! The context for those not lucky enough to witness the event is as follows; Take one Irish farm boy and plant him in the concrete jungle of an American megalopolis for forty years. Then let same farm boy go 'home' for a visit and watch how sissified he has become when it comes to flooded lanes. Yep, Patrick was so determined to go up the lane to revisit a favorite boyhood place but since he no longer owns a pair of 'Wellies' he resorted to a couple of plastic shopping bags to keep those tender toes dry!!!
So I have a problem with outdoor shots taken in the dark!!! This was supposed to be of all the kids watching some fireworks being blown off for New Year's while on one of our sojourns south to Sarasota. The scene had all the necessary snow, kids in holiday head gear, pretty fireworks but lacked the right camera setting!!!!!!
"C'mon Mom! The wind is messing our hair, the pollen from the beautiful background flowers is setting off Julia's eyes, and the sun is blinding me! Do you really need this shot???" Mari probably didn't word it exactly like that but the sentiment is the same!!
I really meant for it to turn out this way....really!! See it's our 'tradition' to have blurry, light streaked portraits taken every New Year at midnight. I think there's a resolution in there....sorry for the pun!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Breithla' shona duit Padraig!

Go maire tu' an la'!!!!! Translation: Happy birthday Patrick! And many more!!!!! Just wanted to let my blog buddies share a very special day in this house. Patrick has, according to him, "Been scarred for life" when it comes to birthdays. In the past thirteen years we have had interventions for him and will continue in years to come in the hopes that those scars can fade away. You see he has NO HISTORY of having a birthday celebration for the first fifty years of his life!!!!!!!!!!!! Sadly this has left him completely baffled as to why we make such a big deal about remembering everyone's birthday every year with, at the very least, a simple cake. I just cannot wrap my brain around this lack of interest in birthdays! Then again I was raised in the United States by a mother who made a BIG deal out of each of her children's birthdays. Trying my best to walk that mile in another's shoes I try to understand how consuming farm life can be in the spring, and how impractical it would be to leave the planting to drive hours by horse and cart to the county seat to register the birth of yet another baby, and how little there was to exist on let alone a little extra sugar and flour to make a cake.....but I just don't get it emotionally. How did his mother not remember those days when her children entered the world...literally I mean REMEMBER. Incredulous as it seems Patrick and his siblings didn't even know their birth date until it was time to get their emigration visa's! Most of them have big discrepancies between the record of their birth at the local church and the official birth certificate! Custom is to believe the church because they were sure to go every week to church but it could be weeks before a trip was made into the civil registry. So every May 13th we will put a cake in front of him and sing Happy Birthday and he will smile sheepishly wondering just how to react to the attention. "To me, fair friend, you never can be old, for as you were when first your eye I eye'd, such seems your beauty still." William Shakespeare Your family adores you and cherishes the day you were born. It marked the day our family began! So just smile and be happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, so the intervention just can't move to actual "gifts" quite yet. He really, really is so uncomfortable with this whole day that we are going slow and steady. The one scar I can actually report is the craving/addiction to the sweets he was denied in his youth! So dearest Daddy, enjoy the Irish treats...quickly before your girls declare them abandoned and thus fair game.

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be...."Robert Browning

Monday, May 11, 2009

When Positive is a Negative!

Well my Facebook friends already know this information but for my blog buddies..... Julia is sick AGAIN!! At first I thought she was just trying for some extra cuddle time but when she fell asleep on me in the midst of her cousins I knew it was serious! Guess I was pretty wiped too, huh? Such a flattering angle?!?!? Nice shot Mari, you got a good one here. Anyhow, on with the is becoming her modus operandi we medicated her at bedtime and she bounced bright as a penny out of bed this morning. Since the thermometer read 98.6 I sent her off to school...again. This time, however, I called and lined up an appointment with the pediatrician as a follow up to the pre-Communion strep. When I left work I called to confirm with the school that she would be ready for an early pick up and they said most definitely as they had noticed her getting lethargic and she had declined her lunch!!! Julia NEVER turns down food, EVER!!!!!....except the last time she had pneumonia....which followed an asthma attack cluster...which was induced by a series of STREP INFECTIONS!!!!
So here we are again in her pediatrician's office awaiting the results of yet another strep test and this time she decided to have a nice 102 fever ready for the reading(I've bought a new thermometer!).....always a nice feeling to know your child went to school sick. Waiting for a renewal prescription because we've blown through her inhaler this month, or should I say we sucked in a whole inhaler this past month. Well the doctor did us one better when he not only arrived with prescriptions for Duricef and albuterol inhaler in hand but two referral cards to boot! Seems she has hit the threshold and must now see a pediatric pulmonologist for the allergy/asthma cycle AND ......YEAH, YEAH, YEAH she is finally going to an ENT for a tonsils/adenoids consult!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is so past time for those tonsils to hit the road. This is the third positive strep in two months and the eigth in fourteen months and we do not own stock in pharmaceuticals!
This would be the smile that appeared after he gave her the 'no school for 24 hours' direction...Mom did not sport the same.